We’ve spent a lot of time lately talking about the culinary delights available to you at the restaurant here on Saragossa Game Reserve, and the farm-to-table process we pride ourselves on so much. So we thought we’d give you a little peek ‘behind-the-scenes’ at the busy little farm that keeps our taste buds tingling no matter the time of year.
April saw cuteness in the air at Saragossa Game Reserve- 300 chicks of our two unique South African hybrid breeds popped out of their eggs. We also included two heritage strains in this batch of eggs- the Black Australorp and White Orpington, so there’s plenty of variety to be found for the chicks. They weren’t the only newcomers, though. 63 lambs took their first steps into the world, safely contained in the maternity pens to ensure they safely bond with their mammas over the coming weeks. A quick health check makes sure they’re safe and healthy for the turning winter weather.
While ‘Brah’ and ‘Man’ are both commonly heard on the streets of South Africa, no one has quite the same combination we do at Saragossa! Our small, pasture-raised herd are a mix of Brahman and Nguni cattle, giving them the best of the hardiness of local breeds. Every morning they are herded to our temporary camps to ensure no area is overgrazed, under the watchful eyes of the herdsmen. This rotational policy also ensures the cows stay healthy and disease free.
The seasonal changeover in South Africa saw us harvesting the last of our summer fruits and veggies- the delicious tomatoes, marrows, chillies, melons, cucumbers and peppers soon hit the table at our restaurant. We even grow our own herbs, so every mouthful of aromatic goodness comes straight from our carefully tended gardens. However, the main work to date has been preparing the ground- and our 3rd veggie tunnel- for the autumn and winter seasons. Rotating planting areas ensures a healthy crop, and prevents the fertile soil being depleted of vital nutrients. The new tunnel was planted in with cabbages, spring onions, carrots and spinach- all the warm and comforting tastes of winter.
What of the old tunnels? Our perennial plants- the plants which grow for more than one season, such as asparagus, ginger and strawberry- are left to go dormant for the cold season, while our local chickens help keep the bug population under control [and contribute a little healthy fertilizer, too]. In the meantime, the last of the annual plants are allowed to finish up fruiting and seed for next year’s crops.
What are you doing this winter? Hopefully a swing past our stupendous restaurant here at Saragossa Game Reserve is high on your to-do list!